UNM medical students partner with nutrition program | KOB 4

UNM medical students partner with nutrition program

Colton Shone
April 16, 2018 08:04 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Food as medicine is a concept that health professionals at the University of New Mexico are exploring.


UNM's School of Medicine along with the nutrition program started thinking about the importance of a healthy diet. Inside UNM's Food Lab, medical school students work alongside nutritionists-in-training as part of the Intro to Culinary Medicine Class.

The class is still in its early stages; currently, only six students have signed up this year. Next year there will be more than 20 students.

"The course is actually based on the Mediterranean diet, which is a diet that's based on lots of fruits and vegetables, lots of whole grains, olive oil, nuts and seeds," said Nutrition Program Associate Director Deborah Cohen. "Protein or meat is a small portion of our plate, of our meals."

Cohen said many medical schools don't teach future doctors about the medicinal properties of food when it can very well solve many of the ailments Americans face.

"The diet can help prevent a wide range of chronic diseases, including hypertension, certain types of cancers, overweight. Obesity in itself is associated with lots and lots of chronic diseases," she said.

The push for these kinds of classes comes at a time when new research shows the obesity rate has shot up in the United States. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, it's gone up from 33 percent to 40 percent of adults from 2007-08 to 2015-16.

"We typically as a society try to take the easy way out, take medication and other things that are quicker and easier," Cohen said. "But you're going to eat for the rest of your life so you want to get those skills so you can eat healthy for the rest of your life for you and your family."


Colton Shone

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